Family Prayer & Faith Building

Faith is a personal relationship with each person of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We nourish this friendship with God through prayer and the Sacraments. These help us to encounter God, to experience his goodness and his marvellous love.

Prayer is our way of responding to God’s invitation to stay in touch. Parents help a child to develop a relationship with God through committing to a regular family prayer time. Prayer makes the Son of God present within the family.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matt 18:20). The love with which “God loved the world” (John 3:16), the love with which Christ loves each and every one “to the end” (John 13:1) becomes present in the family that invites Love in. Prayer increases the strength and spiritual unity of the family, helping it to partake in Gods own ‘strength’.” Pope John Paul II’s Letter to Families #4

In these words, Pope John Paul II explains why prayer is so important to family life. Prayer is like the mortar which strengthens and holds together the walls of our “domestic church”. When we invite the Lord into our home through prayer, we can see how the old adage that, “the family that prays together stays together”, comes to life. We pray together for each other, for those in need, and we pray in thankfulness for all we have received. Through prayer we express trust, forgiveness, hope in God’s promises and receive his help in every situation.

Prayer doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. What will work for each family is different since every family is collection of unique and unrepeatable individuals. What is important is that prayer becomes a habit, part of our daily life.

It helps to have a visual focus, such as a lighted candle and a crucifix, picture of Jesus or a statue. Even very young children can learn to pray from the heart for the needs of others.

John Paul II points out in Familiaris Consortio that the family rosary has long had a particular significance for Catholics and repeated the exhortation of Pope Paul IV that families make the rosary a “frequent and favoured manner of praying”. Familiaris Consortio #61

For further information and practical resources please see:

Faith building resources and prayers

You can download a Family Rosary Prayer Card here

How to take young children to Mass

A short guide to praying as a family

Getting starting with prayer

Selected family resources for parents and grandparents: Archiocese of Atlanta

Catechesis for the Whole Family (lessons sent by email)

Acknowledgement
Some information on this page comes from the Melbourne Archdiocese: Life, Marriage and Family website. http://www.cam.org.au/lifemarriagefamily Used with permission.

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